Schenectady County invites public input on proposed T-21 law

Written by Theresa Zubretsky on June 21, 2016

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, July 5, 2016 @ 7:00pm and share your views on a Schenectady County law to raise the minimum age for the legal sale of tobacco products to 21. The introduction of this local law follows closely on the heels of Albany County’s adoption of a similar provision earlier this month and offers the possibility of having two contiguous counties reducing youth access to tobacco products.Schenectady County Legislature has announced plans to hold a public hearing in the Legislative Offices, 620 State Street, 6th Floor on Proposed Local Law A-16.   If you are a resident of Schenectady County or work in an organization that serves Schenectady County residents, you have an opportunity to be heard. Have an opinion? July 5th would be a good time to share it. If you’re unable to attend the public hearing, you can submit your comments via email or by post to: Legislative OfficesClerk of the Legislature620 State St, 6th Floor
Schenectady, NY    12305For additional information, you can access the Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center fact sheet on Tobacco-21 here or visit 

Village of Altamont makes parks tobacco-free!

Written by Theresa Zubretsky on June 13, 2016

The Village of Altamont Board unanimously adopted a resolution making village parks tobacco and ENDS-free after hearing testimony from two 9-year old residents about the benefits. Erin Burby and Kyle Efaw, 3rd graders at Altamont Elementary School, were joined by seven of their classmates at the June 7 meeting. The two students read speeches they had written as part of a classroom project assigned by their teacher, Annemarie Farrell.

Efaw highlighted the importance of protecting people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. He said, “It is important for a park to be about staying healthy. . .If people are smoking in a park around kids and the kid could breathe in second hand smoking and can get sick.” He also talked about the impact on kids of seeing other people smoking. “Seeing adult or older kids smoke might make other kids want to smoke and it is bad for you. 60% of kids who smoke started by the age of 14 years old.”

Burby spoke of the harms resulting from tobacco litter. “The smoker could leave the cigarettes on the ground in the park and animals (and sometimes kids) could eat them.”

We couldn’t have said it better.

Congratulations to all of Ms. Farrell’s students for their activism and

Continue Reading

T-21 to become law in Albany County

Written by Theresa Zubretsky on June 8, 2016

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy signed a law today raising the age for the legal sale of tobacco products in the county from 18 to 21. The law includes traditional tobacco products, liquid nicotine and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes.

Albany County joins the five New York City counties, along with Suffolk and Chautauqua Counties, which have also adopted T-21 laws.

The law, which passed 24-13 in the county legislature last month, will take effect immediately after it is filed with the Secretary of State.

The Albany County Legislature will be hosting a press event Thursday, June 9 at 4pm to thank the groups and people who helped T-21 become law.

Where:  112 State Street, 1st Floor Cahill Room, Albany NY

When:  Thursday, June 9, 4pm

Who:   Albany County Legislators, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition, among other local partners. Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

County Executive McCoy’s Press Release here.
Times Union article here.